Can you imagine losing your website? Your piece of internet real estate, which is key to building your brand and growing your business could disappear overnight unless you protect it. In this article you will learn about the tools you need to properly secure your business website.
How hackers took down sites generating $300,000 a month
Matt Eldridge of FreedomWP has a cautionary tale about one of his earliest employers who had two websites which drove their business. People would sign up or book consultations for a financial service. The sites were built on WordPress, and overnight one of the websites went down. While they were wondering what had happened, half an hour later, the second site went down.
When Matt spoke to the hosting company he was told the sites had been hacked. He asked them to restore the back-up and it emerged the company hadn’t paid for this. Back-ups were available but the boss hadn’t ticked the button and paid the extra $20 a month to get them.
Matt begged the hosting company to restore the site but because the service hadn’t been asked for, no back-up was available. His employer had lost two assets for his business that were generating well over £300,000 a month. That was 10 years ago, when websites weren’t as important as they are now. Losing your website could cost you your business.
How to secure your WordPress website
WordPress is the most popular website building platform on the planet. It powers 40 percent of the internet nowadays. That means people want to attack it because it is popular and it is open source.
Plugins can give you lots of functionality for your site. But hackers can write back doors into them to gain access to your site, if they are coded badly. This is why, if you are buying a theme, you should buy a premium one, although that’s not guaranteed to save you.
The good news is, there are things you can do to lock it down. Install a security plugin. This will analyze your website and look for those little back doors. Your file directory, which is where your files live on a server, is not locked down by default. This is quite scary. If someone knows how to access your files, they can type in where they are held and download them. You can stop people getting access to that.
A useful tool to look at is Security Ninja. Put that in and it will give you a score out of 100 for how secure your site is. It will give you a list of actions which you, or your web team, can work through and get it as bullet proof as you can.
You want to install ip blocking software which will block the known hacking threats to your site. There are tools like Securely and iThemes, which know the threats to look out for and will be updated on a daily basis to block them.
How do you stay on top of website security?
Once you have the tools in place and have locked the fort down, then you need to put the plugins in place that will act as your defence. You can’t completely leave these to it.
You will need to go in and check alerts to determine whether something that has been picked up is malicious. Let’s say you are checking your Google Analytics and notice you are getting a lot of traffic from Russia, you can speak to your hosting provider and ask if you can block Russian traffic or go into your plugin and say you want to block IPs from Russia. That will stop that spam traffic.
This also prevents you getting a lot of traffic which isn’t genuinely interested in your product or service overloading your site and making it slower. This will help with your website speed.
Make sure you do these things to keep your site secure
There are essentials every website owner needs to remember to do.
- Make sure your passwords are strong
- Change your passwords regularly
- If you’re using FTP change your hosting passwords
- Delete any plugins you’re not using
- Make sure you have backups of your website
Speak to your hosting provider and ask them if you have backups. If they say no, pay the extra monthly fee to get them. You need to make sure updates are being made daily because sometimes a plugin update can break a site, or you might get a dodgy spam comment.
You might need to do a deep clean then to make sure there’s nothing lurking on your site. If you’ve been hacked, you need to do a deeper clean. Just like putting a lock on the door and having a burglar alarm on a bricks and mortar business, you need to secure your online business.Your piece of internet real estate, which is key to building your brand and growing your business could disappear overnight unless you protect it. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
If today’s video has helped you in some way… perhaps answered a few questions you’ve been having, or helped you develop a new idea or two.. let me know what your biggest takeaway was! I’d love to hear from you.
And don’t forget, you can watch my free training course ‘The Youpreneur Launchpad’ over on YouTube… it’s focused on helping you build, market and monetize your expertise better than ever before. I’ll see you in the next video!
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.